Helium is a natural substance, more specifically a noble gas whose symbol is He and named for the Sun, which in Greek is called helium.
Helium is produced through energy generated by the sun and stars. It must be taken into account that solar energy is essential for life. More precisely, it can be said that in the process of heating the Sun, the hydrogen atoms are converted into helium, in this way, the energy is projected to the outside and propagates through the universe .
It is not a chemical element of little importance or small quantity in nature. In fact, it is the second most abundant after hydrogen
From an astronomical point of view, hydrogen and helium make up 99% of matter and both were created shortly after the creation of the universe, as shown by the Big Bang theory .
Helium is an extremely light gas (lighter than oxygen), which has no color or flavor, as well as having the characteristic of solidifying when its temperature decreases .
Despite its importance as an element of nature, it was not discovered until the 19th century, when a French astronomer observed a bright line during a solar eclipse . This phenomenon served as an indication for its definitive discovery.
Specific helium applications and possible hazards
Its most popularly known application is as a gas for aerostatic balloons or for those used in birthday parties (because it is a very light gas, balloons float easily).
It is also used in cryogenic research, as it has a very low melting point and, for this reason, it is used in the cooling of magnets for industrial use, in the magnetic resonance scanner, in optical fiber or in the manufacture of crystal screens.
Whether as a gas or a liquid, helium is present in several sectors: in diving activities, in the construction of cars (in radiators or air conditioning) or in the construction sector (useful to carry out some welding).
While its practical usefulness is unquestionable, helium poses certain potential health risks. When inhaled, helium replaces the oxygen in the blood causing a feeling of nausea and even suffocation in some cases.